“Men at Work” | Movie Review


Overall Grade: (A)

For me this will always be a nostalgic favorite in the genre. With fun settings and likable characters this is a classic action-comedy that always results in enjoyment. 


Anyone who enjoys movies can attest that sometimes you want to just go back to one of the classics to relive the fun of whatever that movie may be. We all have our cluster of films that fit this category and we all have our own reasons why such titles make the short list of our nostalgic films that never get old.

One of mine is without question the 1990 comedy “Men at Work” starring brothers Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men 2003) and Emilio Estevez (Breakfast Club 1985) who also wrote and directed this so-called ‘pet project’ of his at the time.

The script is about a couple of garbage men who are ironically brothers and have plans of opening a surf shop which is clear by their underachieving early in the story, will never actually happen. While they have an observer with them on their route due to some well earned complaints of disturbing the peace while working, they come across a dead body they recognize and the adventure ensues. Okay so there is no question by the highly implausible plot that this is not a serious film aimed at producing a masterful written work of storytelling, but that does not keep this one from always being entertaining in my opinion.

The outrageous characters, no matter how unrealistic or implausible some of them may be are all very likable and hilarious all at different moments. There is no doubt the cast were having fun with their roles and it showed. The chemistry was great between them and the result was many forms of comedy in my opinion. From the well written jokes to the one-liners, they are severed at varying levels of cheesiness but still deliver a laugh. There is plenty of subtle humor to flat-out comedic scenarios that play great in this relatively fast paced film.

The pace of the story-line and the adventure it takes you on mix perfectly with the wide range of characters from the bumbling bicycle cops, the arguing hit-men, the crazy Vietnam veteran observer, the pizza-boy in the wrong place at the wrong time to the pair of fellow garbage men who are always pulling pranks, there is no shortage of comedy.

The locations are also fun for the film, anyone who lives in a small beach town can relate to some of the scenarios in the film. While the antagonist was far from intimidating he was still mildly funny at times and served his place, it was a perfect mix with his two hit-men who did his dirty work and managed to draw some comedy from their onscreen moments.

The story was outrageous but it was still a fun ride to take. The were a surprising amount of action in the third-act and sure it may not have been award worthy in choreography or execution, but it fit great with the range of the two main characters as they seemed to bumble their way through the situation like they managed to do through life. All of this works out to be a fun film that should not be taken seriously but simply enjoyed.

It is one of those, ‘you’ll either love or hate it’ films but definitely worth a watch to find out. With Emilio Estevez, starring, writing, and directing this one the result could have been much worse with a tunnel vision approach to the creativity of the project but the result was much the opposite. This one is great and always entertains not to mention boasting a fantastic time-period soundtrack.


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